Frequently asked questions about Eating Disorders and Treatment of Eating Disorders

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Centre Syracuse for the treatment of eating disorders

Frequently asked questions about Eating Disorders and Treatment of Eating Disorders

We've listed answers to commonly asked questions about Centre Syracuse, the treatment we offer, our staff and our admissions process because we want to make sure you get the information you need.

If you don't find what you need, please call us at 315.671.2202 or email us.

Eating Disorders


Treatment Programs

For Participants

For Parents

For Medical Professionals

Eating Disorders

Are there any physical complications of the eating disorder that need to be treated?

All participants receive medical evaluation for conditions such as reflux disease, esophagitis, dental care, osteopenia/osteoporosis and gynecologic care. If symptoms or signs of conditions requiring 24-hour monitoring, such as cardiac complications, transfer will be made to that appropriate level of care.

How much weight needs to be gained?

This will depend on the intensity of the participant's eating disorder. An individualized plan for weight gain will be based on physical status and nutritional evaluation. Common goals for weight gain in acute anorexia are two to three pounds per week up to the participant's goal weight.

How can I support my family member during a time of weight gain?

Support is a very important element in the treatment of eating disorders and can be especially difficult to convey when they are gaining weight. One way to support them is to understand how your family member is experiencing the weight gain. One unfortunate consequence of eating disorders is a modification of logical thinking about weight and food; this distorts what they see in the mirror and how they perceive what is happening, creating irrational expectations about the consequences of eating and not eating.

Another show of support is to separate the eating disorder from who you know your family member to be when they were healthy. When talking with them, point out their healthy thoughts, emotions or actions as well as when the eating disorder is talking. Taking an active role in their treatment will help them fight the powerful and persistent distortions of the eating disorder. Attend family support groups not only for the participant but to get support for yourself to help you during this difficult time.

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How quickly are applicants admitted and how long do participants usually attend Centre Syracuse's partial hospitalization program?

Applicants are usually admitted within one to three days after the assessment has been completed. Length of treatment is determined individually with each participant according to their diagnosis and needs. Anorexic participants on weight restoration plans have longer lengths of stay with the goal to reach at least 90% of ideal body weight. Some partisans with less severe symptoms may require a shorter period of time in treatment to interrupt their eating disorder behaviors. The length of stay in the partial hospitalization program tends to range from four to ten weeks.

What occurs during the admission process?

A pre-treatment evaluation is conducted by our Centre Syracuse clinical director. The pre-treatment evaluation takes about 60 to 90 minutes. After the evaluation has been completed, the clinical director will make a treatment recommendation to the participant.

How quickly will I be admitted?

The waiting period can be a few days to a few weeks, depending on our current number of participants and their estimated discharge from the treatment program. Admission also depends on a completed pre-treatment evaluation conducted by our clinical director. Click here for our 5 step Admissions process.

How will I pay for treatment?

Centre Syracuse charges a flat daily rate for our services. For the vast majority of participants, their treatment is covered in full by their health insurance carrier. For those without health insurance or with exhausted benefits we negotiate self-pay arrangements.

Where will I live during treatment?

Centre Syracuse participants return home in the evenings and maintain important links to their family and their community. This allows them to practice new skills that promote confidence and independence. If home is too far away for you to return to in the evening and on weekends then you may benefit from our furnished apartment offering you respite as you receive treatment. This apartment is available for a nominal weekly fee of $60.00.

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Treatment Program

What kind of assessment process will be used in recommending a treatment program?

As with any treatment-oriented process, there is a bit of information gathering that needs to be done in order for the eating disorder evaluation process to begin. So first you will be asked to fill out our assessment form and you will be asked to sign releases so we can speak to past providers to gather additional information.

Your conversations with your treatment providers are confidential, so these documents are used to allow your providers to speak with each other and coordinate your care. Also, if your family is going to be involved, you may want to sign one or more releases of information so that your providers can speak with them. We will base our treatment choices on the results of these evaluations.

Which professionals will be involved during treatment? And will a physician be an integral part of the team?

As part of our treatment program, each participant will work with a primary therapist, a psychiatrist and a team of support professionals. In addition, we will work with your primary health care provider to to care for any medical problems present at admission or that may occur during your treatment.

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For Participants

What will I do on my first day?

On the new participants' first day, we introduce them to many of the staff. We complete the medical evaluation and needs assessment. The Primary Therapist meets with the participant and completes a Clinical Assessment. Next, we introduce her to other participants and show her around our facility. Then we familiarize her with the program and the Centre Syracuse policies and procedures.

What is a typical day like?

The activities that you will be involved in vary depending on the level of treatment. Components of your treatment will include: goal setting group, written assignments and journal, social work processing and specialty education groups, experiential and art therapy groups, school/homework.

How long will I stay?

Each participants' length of treatment is dependent their personalized treatment plan and progress toward achieving their treatment goals. The Primary Therapists can answer more specific questions about your length of stay.

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For Parents

How long will my the treatment program last?

Each participants' length of treatment is dependent on their personalized treatment plan and progress toward achieving their treatment goals. The Primary Therapists can answer more specific questions about your length of stay.

Can I talk to someone about my daughter's status and or progress while they are at Centre Syracuse?

We strive to keep an open communication with parents. Your daughter's therapist or another designated staff member will provide information regarding your daughter's progress on a consistent basis and will be available as needed.

If you have concerns or additional information you think could improve our treatment services, please share that directly with your primary therapist prior to your discharge. Customer Feedback Forms are available if you would prefer to express yourself in writing. Your suggestions will help us continuously improve the treatment for our participants and their families.

How can I help support my child during treatment?

You can share your support through your involvement in family therapy, which occurs on a weekly basis where we encourage open and respectful non-blaming communication.

What if my family member doesn't want to participate in therapy?

If you have voluntarily sought treatment, you may request to terminate your stay at any time. However, your request must be reviewed by the attending physician before a discharge order is given. The best time to leave the treatment program is when you and the treatment team are in agreement that your treatment goals have been met and arrangements have been made for continuing your treatment after discharge.

What can the family members or friends do to support the success of the treatment?

The key way that family members can help in the success of the treatment plan is by attending family group sessions geared toward supporting and enhancing the participants' recovery.

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For Medical Professionals

When should I be medically concerned about someone’s loss of weight?

In assessing someone's weight loss, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is useful .
BMI = weight in kg / (height in m)2
However on its own, BMI may be insufficient. Below are a list of medical signs, symptoms and concerns:

What medical symptoms should I look for in someone who is bingeing, vomiting or abusing laxatives?

1. Gastrointestinal tracts: teeth, salivary gland hypertrophy, upper and lower intestinal tract bleeding, abdominal distension, constipation.
2. Renal: edema, dehydration, stones, failure.
3. Cardiovascular: dysrhythmias, postural hypotension.
4. Central nervous system: tetany, fits.
5. Metabolic: dehydration, hypokalemia, hyponatemia.
6. Drug effects: caffeine, slimming tablets such as diethylpropion, amphetamines and ecstasy are often abused.


What are some signs I should look for in the physical examination?

Anorexia Nervosa:
Bulimia Nervosa:

Lanugo hair
Spontaneous fractures

Normal or overweight
Parotid enlargement
Dental erosions
Scars on knuckles of hands
Extremity weakness
Sore throat

When should I refer my patient to Centre Syracuse?

Indications for urgent referral to Centre Syracuse services include:
1. Medical complications
2. Psychological complications:
   • Moderate to severe depression, especially with suicidal ideation.
   • Uncertainty about the diagnosis.
   • Complicating factors, ie. associated substances or alcohol abuse.
3. Failure of current management.

If your patient is 14 years or older and is suffering from one or more of the above symptoms, and/or has been unsuccessful with other treatment programs and you need to make a referral call Centre Syracuse intake coordinator at 315.671.2202 for information on our treatment program.

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Centre Syracuse
3300 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13206




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Centre Syracuse
Eating Disorder Treatment Program

3300 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13206
(315) 671-2202
Fax (315) 671-2203


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